East Sussex Boxing Day Walk: Mayfield & Coggins Mill (4.5 miles)
This superb winter walk leads you through a patchwork of scenic fields in this area of the High Weald to the south and east of Mayfield village.
The walk below appears exactly as it does in our book, East Sussex Year Round Walks, complete with map, pictures and step-by-step directions. You can even click here to download it and take it with you.
By utilising a combination of grassy field paths, quiet lanes and charming farm drives, the route avoids most of the winter’s mud. After leaving Mayfield, the way first crosses a small valley before heading east along ancient sunken tracks towards Merrieweathers and Sharnden Old Manor farms. Reaching the quiet hamlet of Coggins Mill, the route continues through peaceful Vicarage Wood before crossing more scenic fields on its return, where a short stroll along Mayfield’s historic High Street completes the circuit. This is a lovely walk for any time of the year.
- Terrain: Undulating
- Starting point/parking: Mayfield village car park (GR TQ588268).
- How to get there: Mayfield is signed off the A267, 5 miles north of Heathfield. The car park is signed from the centre of the High Street.
- Refreshments: The Middle House Hotel, High Street, Mayfield. Tel: 01435 872146
1 With your back to the car park, turn right along the narrow lane. Press on until just before a T-junction, turn right on a signed path beside a house named Flower Place. Enter a field and continue on the well-signed path along the right side of four fields. Cross a bridge in a woodland dell and continue ahead on the path to reach a lane.
2 Go left along the lane and when it ends at a T-junction, turn left on the road signed to Mayfield. The route soon leaves the road at a left bend 20 yards before the gates of Five Gables. Ignore a path to the right of the gates and turn sharp right on a bridleway along a track signed to Stonycroft. Press on along this lovely track between ancient banks to reach a fork.
3 Keep left at the fork and continue along the sunken bridleway. Ignore a footpath on your left at buildings and remain on the bridleway that passes the grounds of Merrieweathers. Keep left at a fork; cross a woodland stream and continue alongside the grounds and ignore a path to your right.
4 At dilapidated barns, follow the bridleway left between buildings and continue up a rise. Leave the bridleway here when it turns right and continue ahead. Ignore two paths on your left, cross a stile ahead and press on along the right-hand field edge. Cross a woodland stream and go ahead for 45 yards to a low marker post.
5 Turn left here with a hedgerow on your right and continue along the field edge. Towards the field end, bear left on the grassy path to cross a stile. Pass a barn and press on along the path; pass a house and continue along its drive to a road.
6 Turn left along the road and in the hamlet of Coggins Mill, turn right along a small lane with a footpath signed to Little Trogers Lane. At the lane end, continue ahead through Vicarage Wood to a directional post and a crossing path. Turn left here. Go up a rise and after leaving woodland, press on alongside three fields.
7 At the end of the third field, ignore side paths and keep ahead to a cart track. Turn right along the track and pass between houses to a road. Cross the road and continue up the drive to St Leonard’s-Mayfield School to meet a marker post on a bend. Turn right here. Continue alongside an all-weather pitch and at its end, turn left beside them on the signed path that later passes a pond and ends at a T-junction.
8 Turn left at this T-junction and continue alongside the school grounds before forking left at a rough parking area. Pass between a cemetery and allotments and finally cottages to reach Mayfield High Street. Turn left and pass The Middle House hotel before turning right to the car park and the end of this good circuit.
WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR
The Middle House. Mayfield enjoyed a boom time at the height of the Wealden iron industry and its High Street contains some of the oldest and best architecture in East Sussex from those days. Prosperous families lived in the fine houses that line the High Street which is well worth investigating, with one outstanding building in particular – 16th-century Middle House, now a hotel.
This impressive Elizabethan timber-framed, three-storey building was once owned by Sir Thomas Gresham, keeper of the Privy Purse for Elizabeth l. The house remained as a private residence up until the 1920s and contains a splendid Grinling Gibbons carved fireplace, wattle and daub walls and a private chapel.
- Alex Batho